3 Businesses Seizing the Day and Giving to Nonprofits

We’ve all heard the Latin expression “carpe diem” which means, “seize the day.” But in fundraising with businesses a new expression is taking hold: “da die,” which is Latin for “give the day.”

Here’s how it works. Generous businesses support nonprofits by donating the profits from a day’s sales.

This is different from what we’re used to seeing, like a “percentage of sales fundraiser” that donates a portion of sales from every product or service sold for a day/week/month/etc.. A “donate profits day” is when businesses donate a percentage of the day’s total receipts.

This fundraiser has its merits as it allows both the business and nonprofit to concentrate its efforts around a single day, and to potentially raise a lot of money!

Whole Foods Markets & One Fund Boston

Shortly after the Boston Marathon bombings, Whole Foods Markets in Massachusetts joined together to host a Community Giving Day (a.k.a. donate profits day) to support the victims. Five percent of the net sales from the day went to the One Fund Boston. However, these giving days are common for Whole Foods as each store across the country is encouraged to hold one quarterly. Generally, they support local causes, such as the YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs and other health, environmental, and education nonprofits.

At my local Whole Foods just outside Boston, nonprofits are encouraged to set up a display, and have staff on hand to educate consumers about local work.

Chili’s Grill & Bar & St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

As part of its annual fundraising effort for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, restaurant chain Chili’s Grill & Bar donates 100 percent of the profits on its donate profits day. In the days before and after the donate profits day, Chili’s sells Create-a-Pepper coloring sheets in its restaurants to raise additional funds.

This past year, Chili’s also included a QR Code on coloring sheets so that diners could learn more about St. Jude and donate via their mobile devices. The QR Codes were scanned nearly 300,000 times!

Kansas City Restaurants & Good Samaritan Project

Every April over two dozen Kansas City Restaurants team up to raise money for Kansas City’s Good Samaritan Project, KC’s oldest AIDS service organization. Participants in the fundraiser ranged from upscale restaurants to mom and pop diners. But what they all share is a pledge to donate 25 percent of the day’s gross to the Good Sam Project.

Just about any business can do a donate profits day. My pick of businesses to host one of these giving days is the oil industry. On just one summer day last year, the top five oil companies made $375 million in profits. That’s just for ONE DAY.

Seize the day, and give the day!